Deaths continue to rise across the planet due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost half of the deaths have been recorded in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and India. Many countries are taking further restrictions.
The threshold for 750,000 Covid-19 deaths worldwide was crossed on Thursday, August 13, and concerns remain over a recurrence of the disease, forcing many countries to impose new restrictions to limit its spread.
Most recently, the establishment of the UK from Saturday in a 14-day quarantine to travelers from France, Monaco, the Netherlands and Malta.
In Spain, the unique ban on smoking on the streets and on café terraces came into force on Thursday in the province of Galicia (northwest) and in the Canary Islands (east). This measure applies when it is not possible to maintain a safety distance of at least two meters.
Also in Spain, the medical order on Thursday called on the authorities to “raise the bar” in the fight against the coronavirus to prevent this country, one of the most deprived in Europe, from being overwhelmed by a new wave of pandemics.
Italy declares that it must “continue on the line with caution” and has meanwhile carried out compulsory tests for all travelers arriving from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain by 7 September. And people from Colombia are simply forbidden to enter its territory.
In Brussels, as now also in Finland, which has turned on this subject, it is now obligatory to wear a protective mask in public places. It will be the same in France for the participants of the pilgrimage on August 15 to Lourdes, in the southwest, as thousands of Catholics are expected.
A relaxation of measures, greater availability of tests but also relaxation of alcohol in the summer explains the increase in the number of pollutants in Europe, an epidemiologist from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated on Thursday.
21 million cases
Worldwide, there are now nearly 21 million reported cases, according to a report released by AFP on Thursday from official sources. Latin America and the Caribbean are the region with the most deaths: about 230,000. Almost half of the deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in four countries: the United States (166,038), Brazil (105,463), Mexico (55,293) and India (47,033 ).
In the case of Africa, the reopening of economies will lead to increased falls, warned WHO’s Regional Director, Matshidiso Moeti.
At the same time, precautionary measures are being multiplied in countries that had originally succeeded in controlling the epidemic. South Korea has often been cited as a model in dealing with the health crisis with a very thorough tracking strategy. South Korea has installed innovative bus shutters, equipped with ultraviolet lamps to enable disinfection. At a dozen stops in Seoul, travelers now have to stand in front of a thermal imager and the door opens only if the temperature is below 37.5 degrees Celsius.
North Korea is also stepping up its fight against the new coronavirus. Temperature controls, hydroalcoholic solutions and masks are made available to public transport users in Pyongyang. This country, whose notoriously failed medical system is particularly vulnerable, has claimed that no cases of Covid-19 have been registered.
The WHO wanted, after China announced that it had detected the coronavirus at the origin of this disease on imported food, the WHO for its part said on Thursday that it did not fear transmission through food.
Along with the restrictions, the vaccine race continues. The European Union has announced that it has reserved for its member states up to 400 million doses of the potential vaccine against Covid-19 developed by the American Johnson & Johnson. In this regard, Donald Trump’s government on Thursday assured that if an experimental vaccine proved successful, it would be distributed free of charge to Americans.